this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
A stormy few days had passed since the proclamation ceremony had ended. The entire empire had been turned upside down by what had occurred that day, but the Great Temple, where it had all started, was still peaceful.
“Wow, I can’t even file a claim to Lunar.” I clicked my tongue at the priests that were struggling to fill in the holes in the floor and the ceiling.
“Isn’t it enough that they cooperated nicely with you on that day?” Lydia comforted me, telling me not to worry about the cost.
A day after the full moon had passed, Lunar’s voice also naturally disappeared along with it. Although I was relieved that the rowdy voice that had been filling my head the whole day had disappeared, it was also a little disappointing when it actually did.
“Whether it’s to thank them or to file a complaint, I’ll have to wait until next month anyway.”
Though there was nothing to be sad about since we could still meet again, as long as I came to the temple on the day of a full moon.
“You’ll come to meet Lunar again next month?” But the man by my side suddenly interrupted me. “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of staying up all night every time the full moon rises?” Although those words were filled with concern, he still couldn’t hide his brusque expression.
“Don’t get jealous of Lunar. Isn’t she someone who always only calls me, ‘daughter, daughter’?”
“I don’t like it.” Lecht sneakily hugged me from behind. With his face resting against my hair, he murmured, “Lunar is your family and I’m not, so it feels like there’s a line dividing us.”
Wow, so you can even think of it like that. His jealousy seemed to have no limits and exceeded common sense.
I just patted his arm that was wrapped around me silently, knowing that no matter what I said now, it would all stimulate his jealousy even further regardless. I simply changed the subject instead.
“I’m sorry for causing so many incidents before we could leave.” I said to Lydia, who was looking at Lecht and I with a smug expression on her face.
Being able to feel comfortable in the Great Temple, even after the situation burst out of control, was all thanks to Lydia.
“Don’t worry too much about what’s happening on this side and spend as much time as you need over there.”
“And if you do need to, it’s easy for the Great Temple in the demon realm to contact the Great Temple here as well!” Muso added another comment on top of Lydia’s reassurance.
“Like Muso said, please come and find me whenever you need to. In any case, the place that will suit the saintess of the Lunar religion more than the human realm would be the demon realm.” They were words that relieved the sense of obligation to visit them often.
As I smiled smugly, I suddenly spotted a grinning Muso, who was looking at Lydia with an expression that said, ‘I did a good job, right?’.
“But when did the two of you get so close?” I’m pretty sure the only time they spent together was when they went to the Grand Duchy together last time.
“Aha. Seems like you don’t remember, Ara. We met a hundred years ago.”
“Heok, really? How?”
When asked again in shock, Muso replied with a smile, “We met when you took me in, Your Majesty! You gave me food and blankets back then.”
“So that’s how you guys connected… no, wait a minute. So you also met me a hundred years ago, Lydia?”
“Yes. Back then, you had black hair, didn’t you?”
“Wait, why didn’t you tell me?” I was completely unaware of it, as if I was someone who was meeting her for the first time.
“You didn’t remember anyway, so I thought that I didn’t need to insist on you being aware of it. Since it’s a memory, we can just make new ones from now on.”
So there wasn’t anyone around me that wouldn’t talk about a hundred years ago, huh? The woman that was me from a hundred years ago, you sure lived your life diligently.
“When you go to the demon realm, there will also be many people apart from me that still remember you, Ara. Seems like every one of us is living with precious memories, one by one.
“I’m starting to feel apologetic again. I can’t remember though.”
“I’m telling you in advance that you don’t have to. Since everyone will just be happy that you’re back, Ara.”
As soon as Lydia finished speaking, Lecht’s arm that was wrapped around my waist tightened. Embracing me tightly, he whispered in my ear, “Don’t you know when you look at me? Remembering isn’t important. What’s more important is that you’re by my side.”
My face turned red at the uselessly sweet words that he uttered.
“Woof! Woof!” As if agreeing with Lecht, Kelber wagged his tail and rubbed his head against me, making me even more flustered.
When I was just wiggling my toes since I didn’t know what to say, Lydia looked behind me and said, “We have a visitor.”
The place she was staring at was where Alion Darchez, who had just opened the temple door and entered,was standing.
As soon as I spotted him, I immediately extricated myself from Lecht’s arms and looked around me. Meliara was nowhere to be found.
“She must be beside the teddy bear again.” She would always be there whenever I couldn’t find her. Just what are you thinking about so much while you look at that teddy bear? Nevertheless, I never asked for the particular reason, since she always seemed to be in a good mood when I went to find her.
“Saintess. Your Excellency.” Alion nodded to both me and Lecht. “Greetings, High Priestess.”
After greeting everyone lightly, Alion immediately turned toward me. “Saintess, I’d like to talk to you for a moment. Do you have time? It’s in regards to clearing up the recent rumours that have been floating around about your engagement.”
“Is that really the reason?”
The engagement he was talking about was none other than the one between Linden and I. When Ziken merely became a discarded card of his and Linden popped into his mind, the Duke of Darchez sneakily brought up how close Linden and I were to the emperor and suggested that we be engaged. And constantly brought it up here and there as if it were already a done deed.
However, being aware of the relationship between Lecht and I, the emperor’s reaction was lukewarm, and above all, Linden was also clearly expressing his refusal. With that as the root source, rumours began spreading about internal conflict within the Darchez Duchy. Though of course, the Darchez Duchy also had a horde of other problems besides that. But that isn’t likely to be the reason why Alion came to see me.
“That’s… the external reason.”
I laughed at his honest answer. “Why do you need to make up an external reason when it’s just an older brother coming to visit his younger sister?” I started to walk forward. “You can just come. I even gave you a gift at the proclamation ceremony in order for you to do so.”
Alion’s shoulders flinched at my words. This was our first conversation since the proclamation ceremony, so he seemed to have a lot to ask about.
I led Alion to a room that Meliara might be in. Although Lecht had a dissatisfied expression on his face, he still diligently left with Kelber in tow.
Just as I suspected, Meliara was in the room where the teddy bear was kept.
—Oh! Ara. You’ve co… with Older Brother.
Meliara, who smiled brightly upon seeing me, paused when she spotted Alion following behind me.
“Is… she here?” Alion asked upon seeing the teddy bear being beautifully displayed on the table when he entered.
“How did you know that I came here because I wanted to meet her?”
“Is there any other reason for Alion Darchez to pay a visit to the Lunar religion?” Coming here under the pretext of talking about the engagement that was about to be annulled was too flimsy of an excuse.
Alion, who had been silent for a while, asked cautiously, “Where is she?”
At his question, I went and stood next to Meliara. Alion looked over when I showed him she was right next to me. Though it would only look like an empty space to him anyway.
He pressed his fingers against his furrowed brows with a complex expression on his face once again. “I’ve come to the realisation of it every time, but humans really are just animals with a weaker visual perception.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Since in this scenario, your sight, hearing, and touch, all of it should be excluded.”
Though it’s better if you can hear, even if you can’t see. Like how I can hear Lunar’s voice. But in Alion’s case, there was nothing. So even if he came with a huge resolution, it was more likely for him to overthink when facing the situation in reality.
“Is there really no way…?” He asked me in the end, unable to overcome the wall that was a human’s five senses.
Although I had shaken my head firmly last time, I couldn’t confidently do so this time. Ah… this seriously doesn’t seem right.
Alion’s eyes were particularly conspicuous as I pressed my lips tightly together. “Saintess.”
He naturally noticed that I was acting differently this time.
With a long sigh, I began to speak heavily. “It’s not that there isn’t a way.”
“Is that true? As long as you tell me, I’ll do it.”
His enthusiastic appearance made my heart feel even heavier as Meliara bit her lips as well. It was because I had already told her.
“It isn’t easy either.” I hesitantly started to tell him the way. “The Little Duke… will have to die and come back to life.”
As expected, Alion looked at me with an expression that seemed as if he must have misheard me.
pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
I had also been pondering laboriously over this part on the day Lunar had first appeared as well.
‘So there’s no other way?’
[There’s a way. But it’s a rather awkward method.]
At my question, Lunar spoke in a worried tone.
[Although you can see her and talk to her because you’re my daughter, you still would’ve been able to see her, even if you weren’t my daughter.]
[Because you’ve experienced death before. Because of that, your soul has been suspended over both the realms of the living and the dead. Well, since that’s also something that’s closer to me, I don’t really have a problem with it.]
So being alive wasn’t something that was an obstacle. It’s just that the only ones that could be seen were those who had died ambiguously and couldn’t cross over to death like Meliara.
[So there’s only one way if her brother wants to meet her. And that’s for him to die and come back to life.]
‘Die and come back to life… Did I hear you correctly?’
[Yes, that’s right. Dying and coming back to life.]
How could you say such a thing so easily?
[It can’t be helped. Since it’s impossible for her to come back to life. Even I can’t do something like turn back time for the whole world just to save one particular dead person, regardless of how much authority I have over time.]
Even Lunar couldn’t get too involved in the lives and deaths of each individual. So even if a natural disaster like a landslide occurred, they still weren’t able to kill a specific person that way.
‘So the Little Duke has to die…’
[It’s not dying, but dying and coming back to life.]
‘Is it really as easy as how you make it sound? It’s not like he can open his eyes in another body like me!’
[My daughter, don’t you have the ability to neutralise poisons?]
Lunar said lightly, as if asking if there was a need for me to think so deeply about this.
‘What does neutralising poison have to do with any of this?’
[You can drag him to the point where he’s about to die with poison and then bring him back to life. Although it’ll only be a short while, it’ll still be enough time for the two siblings to meet, right?]
‘But if I fail to get the timing right, then he’ll die.’
Is the weight of people’s life and death different to them because they’re a god? Lunar spouted crazy nonsense quite carefreely.
‘Haa… that will definitely be difficult.’
[Because miracles don’t happen easily.]
Recalling my memories of that time, I explained to Alion, “There’s no guarantee that it will definitely succeed. There’s probably a higher chance of failure since I’ve never done it before.”
No matter how, I had to stop him from dying. However, that didn’t guarantee that he would be able to safely meet Meliara either. Though Lunar had also said, ‘I guess he would?’, they never said that they were certain either. And what about the pain that would come from taking poison in the first place as well?
“So irregardless, it’s all up to you.”
I placed the poison that I had prepared on the table with the teddy bear. I had prepared it in case he came back and made such a request. To be honest, I didn’t actually want to use it, but…
“If you want to take that risk and give it a try, then…”
“I’ll do it.”
He answered before I could even finish speaking.
get ready for the next chapter bc it’s a real tear jerker